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Abbas reiterates Palestinian disappointment over Quartet report

July 6, 2016 9:49 P.M. (Updated: July 19, 2016 12:14 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Wednesday the Palestinian leadership’s disappointment regarding a report recently released by the Middle East Quartet, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

While visiting the grave of later Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on the occasion of the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Abbas said that the report did not fulfill its peaceful mission.

“We are sorry that this is its stance, and we hope that the Security Council will not approve this report,” Abbas said

Both Palestinian and Israeli leadership reacted with disappointment to a report released Friday by the Middle East Quartet -- the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations -- which attempted to underscore the major impediments to a two-state solution.

Israel’s continued expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian territory was cited in the report as one of the major obstacles to implementing a viable two-state solution, stating that their continued expansion has raised “legitimate questions” about Israel’s “long-term intentions,” as Israeli leaders have openly rejected the idea of an independent Palestinian state.

In addition to Israel's settlement expansion, the report highlighted two other main trends that undermined peace: violence and incitement on both sides, as well as and the Palestinian Authority's lack of control over the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

The Quartet called on both Israelis and Palestinians to “independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations.”

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat criticized the report in a statement, saying that the report “does not meet our expectations as a nation living under a foreign colonial military occupation; wherein it attempts to equalize the responsibilities between a people under occupation and a foreign military occupier.”

“Evidently, certain parties of the international community insist on trying to avoid their own legal and moral responsibilities to implement international law and conventions; to protect the Palestinian people and to ensure the fulfillment of our right to self-determination,” Erekat said.

Meanwhile, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the Middle East Quartet for “perpetuating the myth that Israeli construction in the West Bank is an obstacle to peace.”

While he lay a wreath on Arafat’s tomb, Abbas also bid good wishes to Palestinians for Eid, adding that he hoped that next year’s Ramadan would take place with an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas also said that he hoped that “the terrorism invading the Arab world these days will end.”

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